• Blog Stats

    • 1,212,495 hits

Boulders a’bouncing on Mars…

I love HiRISE. I love it more than a politician loves their expense claim forms, even more than that annoyingly smug one with the frizzy hair on Eggheads loves himself. It’s just a fantastic instrument on a fantastic spaceprobe, operated by fantastic people who clearly love Mars. Every now and again one of its images makes the news – recently its portraits of Deimos rightly made headlines – but there are so many hidden gems in its dataset just waiting for people to stumble upon them.

This morning, while waiting for an email to come in from one of my publishers, I dipped into the dangerously-addictive Mars Global Data website, and just had a wander around, clicking on a few red squares (each one representing a HiRISE image) to see what appeared. Click – nothing… click, naah, nothing special there either… click –

Hang on.

Hmmm…

boulders1

That’s a close-up of Aram Chaos, one of my favourite places on Mars… what’s that slumpy feature in the centre? It looked like a section of the valley wall had come loose and slid down to the lower ground below… time to zoom in for a closer look…

boulders2

(raised Spok eyebrow) Fascinating… lots of rocks and boulders in the avalanche of material that’s fallen from the slopes… but looking even more closely, I found this…

boulders4

The track of a huge boulder that had fallen from the valley wall and tumbled down, bouncing and rolling and boinging along for a long, long way… incredible to think that if I’d been standing there whenever that happened I’d have been able to see that chunk of rock rebounding off the surface again and again and again… But that wasn’t the only track, they are everywhere, and this one (colourised by me) really grabbed my attention…

boulders5b

Click on that image (or any of the images) to bring up a full sized version.

You know what I love about these images? They show movement, they show that things are moving on Mars right now. It’s not the dead, lifeless, corpse of a world I grew up with; it’s a world – we now know – where dust devils whirl and twirl across the plains… where clouds drift through the pale pink sky… and where huge stones fall from high cliff face, fall to the ground below, then bounce and roll and crash over it… unseen by anyone.

For now.

Advertisements

6 Responses

  1. […] imagens excelentes de Marte, que podem ver aqui e aqui. Posts relacionados:Um pé na LuaMemória do tempoInvasão de MarteBólide diurnoMeteoritos em […]

  2. These photos really are amazing. You can probably judge how old the event is by the degree of infilling in the tracks left by the boulders although I don’t have the expertise for that. You can even see the boulders themselves at the ends of the tracks. Thanks very much for showing this.

  3. wow, that last photo is fantastic!

  4. […] 30 de março, Stu colocou algumas fotos de Marte em seu website, contando sua história de como ele criou essa imagem fantástica da “pedra que rolou a […]

  5. […] someone else’s blog! I found this neat thing on Universe Today, but then it was tied in with Cumbrian Sky which is Stuart Atkinson’s blog.So I guess as long as I pass credit I should be following […]

  6. […] 30 de março, Stu colocou algumas fotos de Marte em seu website, contando sua história de como ele criou essa imagem fantástica da “pedra que rolou a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: